Archive for the ‘Caregivers’ Category

Last Moments with My Best Friend

Belle and Maria

By Maria Williams

I lost my best friend a short time ago. As I sit here re-reading through the e-mail she sent me regarding her final wishes I find something I had either forgotten or suppressed. She asked, with great clarity, that I write about her final experience, her death. This is something Belle and I often spoke of in her final weeks. We discussed how there are detailed accounts, opinions and specifics about all other aspects of life: birth, …

The Last Blog

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By Belle Piazza

Over the years on The Colon Club, I have read about knights in shining armor. Husbands whose wives they could not do without. Husbands who meet their every need, every moment of every day. And it angers me because I wasn’t lucky enough to have landed such perfection, but this isn’t a vent blog. One of my rules has always been a blog cannot be just a vent, it has to have a purpose, and I will …

When is Enough, Enough?

Crossroads

by Belle Piazza

I always wondered how a cancer patient comes to the conclusion that they’re ready to decline all further treatment and let the disease take its course. I have a husband and two beautiful children who love me. I have an idyllic life living here in the beautiful northwest. I am surrounded by friends who love me – both near and far. So how – HOW – do you say enough is enough? I’m done.   I’m ready to …

Dysfunctional Communication

todd and leighann

by Leighann Sturgin

My husband is a man of few words. Communicating is a challenge for us. Our communication is a bit dysfunctional. Mosby’s medical dictionary defines ‘Dysfunctional Communication’ as communication that results from inaccurate perceptions, faulty internal filters (personal interpretations or information), and social isolation. This in a nutshell describes my marriage. The other day my husband and I managed to have an actual conversation that wasn’t about our kids, the schedule or what’s for dinner. I shared with …

Wendy’s Story – A Mother Lost

Amber & Michael

by Wendy Touchette

The email link to your January blog post sat in my inbox for many weeks. I have struggled with what to respond, how to respond or even whether I should respond. As I finally reply, although my words may not be quite as elegant or humorous as yours are in your blog posts, I hope my words can be honest and heartfelt and maybe give you food for thought.

Although I am a mom and went through …

Lessons Learned

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by Janet Klostermann

Many of you know me as “Janklo”, the mom of Lauren, who died at age 28 of signet ring cell colon cancer. But I also have prior experience with a close family member who was diagnosed with cancer. In 1984, when I was 23 years old with a 3-week old baby (Lauren), my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now 1984 version of medical treatment is like the dark ages compared to today’s treatments. I still remember …

Was It Worth It?

Leavenworth

by Belle Piazza

Despite Christmas being my least favorite holiday, December is always a crazy busy month for our family. This past December I owe part of the craziness and a tremendous amount of thanks, to my friend Jaynee (weisssoccermom as most of you know her). For the past several years, Jaynee has gifted to our family a weekend in her time share condo in Leavenworth – a charming little Bavarian town set in the mountains of eastern Washington. The …

Ask Humbly, Give Willingly, Accept Graciously

take what you need

by Belle Piazza

Living with cancer, especially as long as I’ve been dealing with it (6+ years now), the question of “what can I do to help?” comes up a lot. Simple question, complex answer. I can only speak for myself based on my experiences and what I appreciate the most. So here goes, my best shot at answering that oh so illusive “what can I do to help?” question.

First off, I really, really try to do things myself. …

Friend, Foe or Family?

Belle Piazza, Danielle Ripley Burgess, Krista Waller, Adam Benlon

by Belle Piazza

My brother e-mailed me the other day to compliment me on my latest blog entry for The Colon Club, which was nice I thought (the compliment that is). Then he suggested I blog about how a survivors family members are affected by their cancer diagnosis. It’s a good thing he couldn’t see my face when I read that e-mail – as he would have been greeted with a …

Celebrating My Five Year Cancerversary

by Belle Piazza

This past weekend we celebrated my son’s 10th birthday and my five year cancerversary. Except of course that I didn’t really ‘celebrate’ my cancerversary more so than I acknowledged it. Five years ago, the day before my son’s 5th birthday, we received the call from the surgeon’s office confirming the pathology results from my colonoscopy. Yup, it’s cancer. We proceeded to celebrate Michael’s 5th birthday with friends and family and watched on as the children ate cake, …

Meet Ms. October | Staci Wills

Now although she does have striking resemblance to her, October’s model is not Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. It’s Staci Wills, a brave rectal cancer survivor from Canfield, OH. Read on to learn more about this funny, charming survivor we’re proud to call one of our own at The Colon Club.

The BASICS

Staci-wills-stage-3-rectal-cancerName: Staci Wills

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in July 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 32

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when

Musings on my patient/caregiver relationship

by Staci Wills

From the day I was diagnosed until the day I rang the closing bell on chemo, I tried my best to avoid hearing the statistics, small percentages, possible side effects associated with my cancer, but I also avoided other colorectal cancer patients.  That sounds harsh, but I didn’t want to hear what could, might, or would happen to me.  I didn’t want to hear what the statistics said about Stage III rectal cancer.  I didn’t want to …